a preponderance of punctuation marks (reedrover) wrote,
a preponderance of punctuation marks

goat politics and snow stress

Jared, Loki, and Sancho have been sharing the same area of stall, shade-cover, and 10 foot square area between the two since the snow started on Friday night. Jared has decided that he really doesn't want to share that much personal space with Loki, so Loki has been spending much of his time out in the cold and snow while Jared gets the barn to himself and maybe Sancho. Now, Angoras are pretty hardy once they are full grown and have four inches of mohair on them, and Loki is a pretty fat goat - he has the reserves to keep himself warm. But still, getting picked on and snowed on has gotta eventually get to a guy. I got out there today to find Loki standing in the edge of the snowdrift looking rather hangdog. After putting out new water and hay, and watching Loki only sort of nibble on food (and he's usually an instant-muncher), I decided to relent from my hay-only attitude of the moment and bring him some grain.

Wow, that bucket of grain brought everything to a standstill. Then to a riot. I had all the goats, the llama, and the alpaca swirling around me and my little bucket of grain-and-goat-mineral. No! This is for Loki. Yeah, that worked so well. I managed to get over to the big boy's side by climbing the fence behind the barn (I still hadn't blazed a real trail through the snow - I've been pitching hay over the fence and reaching through it for the water bucket). Loki got about a third of what I brought out. Sancho and Jared each got a few mouthfuls. Then I went back to the little boys' side and let Cookie, Scout and Houston have the rest in their bowls (which I can find!) while I guarded them from the llama and alpaca.

While the little boy goats ate their grain, Jared took his ire out on Loki. I mean that Jared repeatedly thumped Loki into the snow. Yes, Loki stayed standing, but this still was reminiscent of the day Patty-goat beat April to the ground and then hammered her while she was lying there. Loki barely defended himself to start, then just basically stood there. Right. -No. I wallowed back around behind the barn, called Loki, bent the fence to the ground, and shoved him over it and into a very surprised Marco who came around the corner to find out what was going on. Look! You have a new roommate! Loki immediately went into the barn. Scout immediately went to me to get reassurance that he is still my baby. This got funnier when Loki came over for some pettin's and I ended up with Loki's head in my hands and Scout cross-wise between him and my knees.

One amusing thing about this division-and-grain episode is that Jared, who has had no reason to stray from the warmth of his barn this whole snowy weekend, was willing to swim in chest-deep snow all the way to his gate to complain about Loki's special treatment. On my way out of the pasture, Jared waded all the way from his barn stall down to the gate - with Sancho faithfully following - to beg for more grain and generally holler at me about the unfairness of life. It was a Kodak moment of sorts, and made me glad for Loki, even though he probably doesn't think like that.

So now there is a *very* lopsided division up front, with four goats and two camelids on one side and two goats on the other, with more shelter on the side with two goats. *sigh* I have to work something out before tomorrow afternoon.

Yes, tomorrow afternoon we are supposed to leave for California for Christmas with my family. Hence, I'm a little STRESSED at the moment. My house sitter does not have a vehicle that can make it up our hill to take care of the animals (her truck died) if the roads don't get cleared, and the weather report keeps wavering between rain and ice for Christmas Eve. So far, CK and I have managed the following solutions/possible solutions:

1) Joy-dog is now at a kennel for the first time in her life. It is costing us $34 a day for the privilege of not having to worry about her messing in the house, of freezing if she is outside and the power fails on her doghouse heater (if we do get ice on Christmas Eve), or whether she is getting her medications on time (she has an ear infection that requires 2x daily medication).

2) We can loan our truck to our house sitter. There is precedent. I've loaned my car to amazonmink for house sitting before. Of course, I like/know amazonmink much better than I do my housesitter, but I also like my animals and prefer that they get food, ya know? This only works if *we* have a way to get to the airport. As such, the decision on the loan should be made tonight so that we can get the truck wherever it needs to be either this afternoon or tomorrow morning.

3) Or, of course, we can cancel Christmas in CA and just stay here.
Tags: animals, dogs, goats, travel

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